Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mao madness

Maoists in West Bengal recently despatched a group of comrades to Chattisgarh to gather first-hand information about Salwa Judum, or Campaign for Peace — an anti-Maoist government-sponsored movement in the central Indian state. Chattisgarh has witnessed plenty of Maoist violence of late and is a key component of the so-called red corridor running from Nepal to south India cutting across nine Indian states where left extremists are on the rampage.

The Salwa Judum campaign, apparently the brainchild of Chief Minister Raman Singh, is arming tribals disillusioned by Naxalism in one of the country's poorest and least developed regions.

The administration is tapping tribals' resentment against Maoist 'dictatorship' in liberated zones where there is no room for dissidents. Reportedly, anyone who dares to question the violent anti-government ideology is executed. Such intolerance has resulted in massacres with Naxalites killing dozens of tribals for refusing to toe the line.

Anti-Naxalite tribals are now being shepherded into camps which are protected by para-military forces. And the disenchanted men and women are being armed the state to take on Maoists if the need arises. The state government has high hopes the Salwa Judum campaign could help to finish nearly four decades of Maoist insurgency.

But all the campaign has achieved so far is to turn southern Chhattisgarh into a virtual war zone, with civilians in the firing line as the Maoists fight back ruthlessly. People are dying almost every day, 55 in a landmine attack on a truckload of Salwa Judum members on February 28.

The civilian death toll in Chhattisgarh may have already overtaken last year's tally of 127 as the new campaign piles on terror and misery. West Bengal Maoists say the campaign is along the lines of Indian government schemes in the past to combat insurgencies in Punjab and Kashmir by recruiting locals to act as policemen or defend villages in more secure areas.

Human rights groups such as the leftist People's Union for Civil Liberties say villagers are being forced to join the Salwa Judum, their houses and crops burnt, and allege up to 100 people may have been killed in the past few months. The government denies this, but officials admit it is impossible to be neutral in the villages of southern Chhattisgarh any more.

Naxalite slain

NAXALITE
VARANASI, MAR 30 (PTI)
A naxalite, involved in the bombing of a PAC truck that left 18 jawans dead, was killed in a gunbattle with police here this evening.

Giri Nath Kol, a self-styled area commander of the Maoist Communist Centre, was wanted in connection with several heinous crimes, including the attack on a PAC truck last year, police said.

He escaped from police custody in February this year, they said adding a gun was recovered from his possession.

CCS approves acquisition of 20 advanced light copters

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) today approved acquisition of 20 advanced light helicopters from HAL and seven radars from Bharat Electronic Limited.

The CCS, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also decided extension of security-related expenditure for nine Naxalite-affected states for a period of five years, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.He said this year Rs.45 crore has been earmarked for such expenditure.

The hour-long meeting was attended, among others, by Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Letter with Naxalite demands lands in newspaper offices

Bhubaneswar: Six days after armed Maoists abducted two officials from R Udayagiri in Orissa's Gajapati district after a daring daylight raid, a handwritten letter today landed in newspaper offices here containing five demands by the extremists.

The letter, written in Oriya and addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Director General of Police, was purportedly signed by the two abducted officials - Ranjan Kumar Mallick, officer-in-charge of the local police station and Rabinarayan Sethi, Superintendent of the sub-jail at R.Udayagiri.

The government should not try to apply force by using the police but fulfill the demands "for our release", the letter said.

Asked to comment on the letter, Chief Minister said ''We have not received any official letter. If any letter comes, we will examine it.'' When family members of Mallick were contacted, his sister Dharitri Rout said the signature tallied with that of his abducted brother.

The letter demanded that all attempts to displace people in the name of industrialisation must stop and also the "imperialist" exploitation of mineral wealth.

It also demanded that all Maoists in jail be classified as political prisoners and their bail be allowed.

"The government should also take back cases it has lodged against tribals for participating in movements for land rights and for right to food," the letter said.

It also asked the government to remove camps of security forces from the Maoist-affected areas and a halt to combing operations.

Naxal bandh call fails to evoke response in Gadchiroli

Nagpur: A bandh call given by naxal outfits in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra today, failed to evoke any response, official sources said today.

The naxalites had given a bandh call to protest the "peace march" started on March 21 by a group of socio-political workers, to highlight the "exploitation of tribals and innocent people by the naxalites".

"But barring a few unsuccessful attempts to put up banners in Dhanora area, it was a total failure," Superintendent of Police (Gadchiroli) Shirish Jain told PTI.

He said naxalites also tried to put up some road blockades but they were immediately removed by police.

Meanwhile the peace march, which had commenced from Aasarali, the southern most point in Gadhchiroli district, led by noted Marathi litterateur Suresh Dwadashiwar, reached Aheri today.

Quarterly coordination meeting on Naxal issue tomorrow

NEW DELHI, MAR 30 (PTI)
Union Home Secretary V K Duggal will chair the quarterly coordination meeting on Naxal issue tomorrow during which emphasis would be laid on having a synergy between various police and para-military forces deployed in the affected states.

Besides Duggal, Chief Secretaries and Directors General of police of affected state, officials from the Union Home Ministry, central para military forces and Intelligence Bureau would be participating in the meeting, which comes at a time when the naxal violence had increased to 11.4 per cent this year with major attacks Orissa and Chattisgarh.

During the meeting, the Centre is likely to ask the states to lay a special emphasis on developing synergy between various security agencies and police forces as certain lapses were found during the recent naxal attacks in Orissa and Chattisgarh.

The states like West Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand will be asked to take a look at the policies of Andhra Pradesh in tackling the Maoist violence as they had bore rich dividends.

With an increase of 11.4 per cent in the civilian and security forces casuality in naxal violence this year, the Centre would inform the state of adopting a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the menace which includes no peace talks with the naxal groups until the insurgents surrender.

In the current year (till February) while the number of incidents of naxal violence has decreased by 29 per cent over the corresponding period of 2005, civilian and security forces casualities have increased by 11.4 per cent.

The majority of deaths have taken place in Chhattisgarh state where 85 civilians and security personnel have been killed till February this year where as the figure stood at only six last year, the report said.

The Government also wants to strengthen intelligence set up at all state levels, pursue effective intelligence driven police action individually and jointly by all states and also accelerate development in naxal-affected states.

During a series of meetings with the police forces of other states, central security agencies gave some specific examples where "bunglings" had allegedly been done by the policemen in not acting on intelligence inputs provided to them well before time.

These issue would also be raised in the tomorrow's meeting with them.

Orissa Government, which had claimed zero naxal-related incidents last year, would be conveyed that the level of violence was nil because the state police had not been confronting the naxals who were virtually having a free run in the state.

The Bihar Police is likely to be asked to take lead with the CRPF in anti-naxal operations rather then pushing them in inhospitable terrains and areas to fend for themselves.

They were also told about the system adopted by Andhra Pradesh Police by constituting "Grey Hounds" special squad police and had been successful in thwarting attacks from three naxal groups operating in the state.

India readies blueprint against Maoists

Intl. Intelligence

NEW DELHI, March 30 (UPI) -- India has drafted an elaborate blueprint to protect railway property from Maoist attacks.

The Hindustan Times newspaper said Thursday the blueprint was finalized at a high-level meeting chaired by Interior Secretary V.K. Duggal made necessary by a recent spate of attacks by Naxalites, or Maoist rebels, on railway properties.

Maoist rebels recently hijacked a passenger train in western Jharkhand province and blew up a railway engine in central Chhattisgarh province.

"The (interior) ministry had specific intelligence that Naxal groups were planning fresh attacks on railway properties," Duggal said adding, "but we have worked out an elaborate foolproof plan in coordination with the railway ministry and states to avoid any further strikes."

Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar are considered to be soft targets for Maoist rebels.

The Indian interior ministry has decided to provide specialized training to the railway protection force personnel for anti-Naxal operations. The training will be provided at various centers managed by Indian paramilitary forces and the army.

The federal government has directed the states affected by Maoist violence to undertake large scale awareness campaigns, highlighting the extremist atrocities.

"The states needn't bother about cutting corners to fund the drive. The union home ministry will underwrite the expenses under its security related expenditure scheme. The center is ready to disburse $4,500 per Naxal-affected district every year," a government official said.

Fight goes to enemy camp

SOUMYAJIT Pattnaik
Bhubneshwar, March 29, 2006




In a bid to flush out naxals from remote villages, the Union government has directed affected states to undertake largescale awareness campaigns highlighting the extemists’ atrocities.

And the states needn’t bother about cutting corners to fund the drive: The Union home ministry will underwrite the expenses under its security related expenditure (SRE) scheme. The Centre is ready to disburse Rs 2 lakh per naxal-affected district every year.

With the Centre bank-rolling the project, the Orissa government has already sprung into action. It has sent detailed guidelines to the SPs of naxal-affected districts to make villagers aware of the Red menace.

The messages to be sent around will include “various welfare and developmental schemes of the government, exposing unlawful activities and misdeeds of the naxals and their leaders, lack of development in affected areas due to fear and extortion by the extremists and benefits of peace”.

The MHA will also reimburse the expenses incurred by the state governments for appointing special police officers (SPO) in naxal-affected districts. The guidelines issued to SPs also mention that the Centre has asked states to consider the services of surrendered rebels, relatives of victims of terror attacks, ex-servicemen and ex-forest guards as SPOs. But these people have to be vetted the SRE Standing Committee.

Centre wakes up to Naxal terror

RAJNISH Sharma
New Delhi, March 29, 2006


The Union home ministry has drafted an elaborate blueprint to protect railway properties from naxal attack. The strategy chalked out at a high-level meeting chaired by home secretary VK Duggal, on Wednesday, has been necessitated by the recent spate of attacks by naxals on railways. The naxals had hijacked a passenger train in Latihar, Jharkhand, some time back and had earlier blown up an engine in Chhattisgarh.

Duggal said the ministry had specific intelligence that naxal groups were planning fresh attacks on railway properties. “But we have worked out an elaborate foolproof plan in co-ordination with the railway ministry and the states to avoid any further strikes.”

According to sources, states where railways were considered a “soft target” are Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Orissa.

In a significant move, the government has decided to increase the strength of the RPF deployment in Naxal-infested areas. Both the CRPF and CISF will also be roped in to protect railway property.

The MHA has also decided to provide specialised training to the RPF personnel for anti-naxal operations. The training will be provided at various centres managed by CRPF, BSF and even the Army.

Koyas, better known as Naxal sympathisers

Thursday March 30 2006 11:10 IST

MALKANGIRI: It is a lesser-known fact that the Koyas had orchestrated an uprising against the British in 1880 under the leadership of Tama Dora. Today, the Koyas are better known as Naxal sympathisers for backing the decade-long socio-economic movement led by the Naxalites.

Spread across forest areas in Kalimela, Padia, Malkangiri and Korukonda, the Koyas are dominant among 10 tribal communities of the district but the most deprived of developmental programmes doled out by the government. With less than 10 percent literacy rate, it is not surprising that they are not aware of such programmes.

And the officials responsible for the successful implementation of such welfare schemes prefer to skip Koya-dominated villages fearing Naxal threat, said sources, adding lack of adequate initiatives by the government has pushed the Koyas to become sympathisers of the Left wing extremists.

And the Koyas’ resentment towards the government for neglecting them has reportedly come in handy for the Naxal outfits in their campaign against the government machinery.

With development and awareness eluding them, this community has learnt to suffer silently at the hands of the ultras, revealed sources. Koya heads known as ‘pedas’ said the tribals are merely considered veritable vote banks.

Better roads, drinking water, electricity and health care are far cry for the Koyas, whose tradition dates back to 200 years. But ironically these gullible tribals who have contributed significantly to the State’s culture and heritage are yet to join the mainstream.

Among other measures suggested by various voluntary organisations, a Koya development agency on the lines of Bonda Development Agency will ensure the tribe’s all-round development and bring over 1,40,000 of them (as per 1991 Census) to the mainstream of society.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Orissa cop kidnapped by Naxals

Sampad Mahapatra

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 (Bhubaneswar):


A family in Orissa is eagerly seeking the safe release of their son after he was kidnapped by Naxalites.

It has been an unending nightmare for the Mallik family ever since their 27-year old son Ranjan and officer-in-charge of the R Udaygiri police station was kidnapped along with the superintendent of the sub-jail.

The family based in Kusunpur in Kendrapara district came to know of this from the news on TV and rushed to Bhubaneswar.

"All I want is to see my son return home safe and sound. I hope the naxalites will not do him any harm," said Devakilata Mallik, Ranjan's son.

A bachelor and the youngest among three brothers and sisters, Ranjan studied journalism after his post-graduation.

He also worked as a journalist before joining the Orissa police service as a sub-inspector four years ago.

"I haven't got any information. My son is a very good human being and he can only appeal to the naxalite to release him," said Akshay Mallik, Ranjan Mallik's father.

The Naxalites have already made it clear that they will not release Ranjan and the sub-jailor RN Sethi unless their comrades languishing in several Orissa jails are released.

Brinda Karat takes on Naxalites

Statesman News Service
BERHAMPUR, March 29. — A proper political and administrative approach towards the problems faced by tribals can steel the Naxalites’ thunder, CPI-M leader Brinda Karat said here today.
“The Naxalies are claiming they are fighting for the tribals, but it is the tribals who are mostly harmed by the Naxalite movement. Due to Naxalite activities, tribals in remote areas are falling prey to Naxalite terror as well as state terror,” she said, adding that the Naxalite movement had lost its goal and at times Naxalites are misused by political forces for cheap gains.
Tribal lands are being handed over to industrial houses without taking tribals into confidence in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Tribals gain nothing from the displacement. State governments are not holding open talks with tribals, they are signing MoUs with private industrial houses for mining and setting up industrial units in tribal areas. So, obviously the Naxalites are fishing in troubled waters, she said.
When asked about the UPA government’s performance, she said after the elections in some states, the Left parties would again assess the government’s performance vis-a-vis the Common Minimum Programme target.
Mrs Karat, however, added that the much publicised Bharat Nirman Yojana of the UPA government cannot be a good beginning as it is still in the domain of a slogan. Replying to a question regarding the office of profit controversy, she said neither she nor her party viewed the post of chairpersonship of the National Advisory council as a post of profit. Mrs Sonia Gandhi has quit the post.
Mrs Karat is in favour of a political consensus on the interpretation of offices of profit. She criticised the Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh governments’ moves to make hasty amendments to the interpretation of offices of profit.

6 securitymen injured in Naxal ambush

Press Trust of India

Jamshedpur, March 29, 2006



Six police personnel were injured, including one seriously, in landmine blast and subsequent encounter with activists of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) at Bakrakocha Pahar in extremist-hit Ghorabandha in Jharkahnd's East Singhbhum district on Wednesday.

The police personnel said when they were on patrolling in the extremist stronghold area this morning more than 100 extremists triggered two landmine blasts before opening fire on them.

The patrolling party immediately took position and retaliated triggering the encounter in which at least six police personnel sustained injuries. The standoff lasted for over an hour.

Superintendent of Police Ashish Batra and Additional Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Jha rushed to the spot with adequate forces, sources said.

All the six police personnel, including a sub-inspector Jairam Prasad who is also the officer-in-charge of adjoining Dumaria police station, were admitted to Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur.

Apart from the sub-inspector and a constable of the district police force, four others including a havildar, belonged to the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), sources said.

The condition of one jawan was stated to be serious and he was shifted to the critical care unit of the hospital.

Police Inspector, Maoist Activist Killed in Police-Naxal Encounter

Patna: March 28, 2006

Maoist extremists in East Champaran district on Monday, in an encounter with the police that lasted nearly an hour in Nanora village under Ghorasahan police station, gunned down an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) even as the police also managed to shoot and kill one of the fleeing Naxalites.

Pramod Kumar Singh, a native of Supaul district, who was part of a police team led by Sikrahana DSP Rajesh Kumar, was killed when the extremists opened fire at them as they returned from conducting some official police business, IG (Operations) Krishna Chaudhary said.

The police also shot dead an ultra when the gunfire opened from both sides, the IG said.

The fleeing ultras left hundreds of live cartridges, Communist flags and posters, and police uniforms behind them as police gave them a long chase to capture them.

The police captured two Maoist insurgents who were being grilled for further information, the report said.

A district-wide alert has been issued and security has been beefed up at the Bihar-Nepal border after ultras issued threats to blow up Motihari jail and police stations. The state administration has rushed two companies of Central Reserve Force and one company of Special Task Force to monitor the situation and smoke out Naxals from their hideouts, officials in Patna said

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

India unveils new policy to tackle Maoists

NEW DELHI, March 28 (UPI) -- India has devised a new 14-point policy to combat Maoist rebels.

More than 10 Indian provinces are affected by Maoist violence which has killed thousands of people in the last 10 years.

The Hindu newspaper said Tuesday the new policy focuses on the states adopting a collective approach and pursuing a coordinated response to counter the Naxalite (Maoist rebel) problem, and emphasizes that there will be no peace dialogue between affected states and the Naxal groups unless the rebels agree to give up violence and arms.

An important component of the new policy, which was tabled in the parliament early this month, is asking political parties to strengthen their base in Naxal-affected areas so that the youth could be weaned away from the path of Naxal ideology.

"Efforts will continue to be made to promote local resistance groups against Naxalites, but in a manner that the villagers are provided adequate security cover and the area is effectively dominated by the security forces," said a status paper on the new policy.

According to policy, states will need to further improve police response and pursue effective and sustained police action against Naxalites and their infrastructure individually and jointly.

"The policy of the government is to address this menace simultaneously on political, security, development and public perception management fronts in (a) holistic manner," the paper said.

The surrender and rehabilitation policy of the government of southern Andhra Pradesh was much praised, and other states were asked to pursue a similar policy.

Overall counterinsurgent activity by Indian states was much improved in 2005, with increases in rates of arrest, surrender and arms recovery.

Maoists call for Chattisgarh bandh tomorrow

Raipur: Maoists have called for a bandh in Chattisgarh tomorrow in protest against the proposed enactment of Special Public Security Act by the Raman Singh Government, which is aimed at controling the Naxal menace in the state.

"To suppress our party and the people's movement, the state government is implementing the Chhattisgarh Vishesh Jansurakshya Abhiniyam-2005 and to protest against that the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) and the Chhattisgarh state committee jointly call for a bandh tomorrow," a joint statement of both the committees of the CPI (Maoist) said here today.

"However, in people's and student's interest, hospitals and schools have been put out of the ambit of the bandh," DKSZC spokesman Gudsa Usendi and Secretary of the north Bastar Divisional Committee (Kanker) Sujata Nareti said in the joint statement.

They also "begged apology" from the villagers for "wrongly" targeting them with landmine blast near Pakhanjur of Kanker district in which thirteen businessmen were killed and four injured on Saturday.

"Because of the mistake of our intelligence wing of our People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the unfortunate incident took place near Sangham village," they said.

"Our party is publicly begging apology from the families of the killed and injured persons and they will be provided needed assistance and we will also take all steps so that such incidents do not takes place in future," they added.

More districts come under Naxal map

Tuesday March 28 2006 11:44 IST
BHUBANESWAR: Hesitatingly but Naveen Patnaik Government is finally admitting that Naxal menace has spread tentacles much beyond than it earlier acknowledged.

The latest figure dished out by the State Government says as many as 14 out of 30 districts are Naxal-infested. Earlier, it admitted Naxal activities in only in nine districts.

So far, seven districts - Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Gajapati, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh - have been declared Naxal-hit by the Centre while State Government gets assistance from it under Security Related Expenditure (SRE).

After the Left wing radicals ran amok in northern pockets, State Government had proposed that another two districts - Sambalpur and Deogarh - be covered under the SRE.

However, State Government on Monday admitted that Maoist menace has spread roots to Kandhamal, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Ganjam and Nabarangpur districts. All these districts have witnessed intense Naxal movements in the recent past.

An independent survey had warned last year that Left wing ultras targeted to create their base in at least 25 districts by 2007 end. And this latest figure only goes on to corroborate the claim.

The acknowledgment comes at a time when the State Government contemplates ban on the CPI (Maoist).

“The ban should have come long back. Police in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are after the Naxals as there is a clear cut policy by the Governments. But Andhra Pradesh, which had imposed a ban and then lifted it, is paying for its mistake. Orissa should adopt a stern move,” a senior IPS officer said.

In fact, unlike its neighbours, Orissa does not have a surrender as well as rehabilitation policy for the Naxals. Top cops believe all these stands send a wrong signal.

But the biggest drawback of Orissa’s Naxal-fighting strategy has been its abysmally bad infrastructure. And the R.Udaygiri mayhem blew the lid just one more time.

Maoists are following Guevara’s tactics

Monday, March 27, 2006 23:49 IST


Ranjit Kumar Gupta was police commissioner of Calcutta (now Kolkata) and then inspector general of police, West Bengal, from 1971 to 1977. He is credited with wiping out the Naxal terror from the state in the '70s. In 2004, he published his book The Crimson Agenda: Maoist Protest and Terror, on the spread of leftwing extremism in the country. Gupta, now 85, tells Sumanta Ray Chowdhury how the ideology and strategy of the Maoists have changed through the years.

What is the strategic significance of the recent attacks?

Considering the progress the Maoists have made in different states in recent times, incidents like these were bound to happen. I had predicted such incidents in my book.

How different are today's Maoists from the Naxalites you combated during your tenure?

The changes are many. The followers of Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal were not trained in sophisticated guerrilla warfare, which the present day Maoists are. The Naxals I faced used rudimentary country-made weapons, but today the Maoists have access to all kinds of modern weapons and explosives. Most importantly, today they are better organised.

Has there been any major ideological shifts among the Maoists over the years?

The basic tactic remains the same, which is capturing power in the cities from bases in villages. But although they call themselves Maoists, in reality they are following the tactics of Che Guevara. Probably, they call themselves Maoists because Mao Zedong succeeded and Guevara failed. A new feature is the introduction of caste politics. Even in my times they used to play the caste card in certain pockets, but it failed in West Bengal. But now the caste strategy is far more effective and is working in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

Has the Maoist movement in India gradually transformed itself from a typically urban phenomenon to a strong rural movement?

Not really. Maoists still have a strong urban presence, but they are underground. They will surface once they become fully successful in establishing firm bases in the villages.

Will the Maoists in India establish tie-ups with terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and Jaish-e-Mohammed?

An ideological link-up will never take place as groups like Al-Qaeda and Jaish-e-Mohammed are fundamentalist organisations whereas the Maoists have social and economic agenda. It is possible when it comes to arms, but even here, considering the type of explosives and weapons the Maoists use and their method of guerrilla warfare, it is evident that they are in touch with the LTTE and the Maoists in Nepal. In northeastern India, they are largely involved in the narcotics-against-arms business via Myanmar.

What is the solution to the problem?

There should not be a military solution to the problem. Neither is banning the organisations a solution. The government should identify villages where the Maoists are yet to firm up their bases. The government should go for full-fledged economic and social development in these areas. By these steps the Maoists will be isolated from the public. Only then should police action against the Maoists follow.

Red trail of terror

Red trail of terror

DNA
Monday, March 27, 2006 23:50 IST


Friday's Naxal onslaught in the Orissa town of Ramgiri Udayagiri, in which over 400 armed Maoists freed 40 of their comrades and took hostage the jail chief and a sub-inspector, and Saturday's killing of 13 people in a landmine blast in Chattisgarh, have sent shockwaves. The incidents come just four months after Naxalites freed 389 of their comrades from Jehanabad jail in their most daring attack. DNA gives you a lowdown on the challenges posed by the country's fringe Left.

Tactical shift

Ramgiri Udayagiri and Jehanabad mark a significant shift in Naxalite tactics. The scale of the attacks show that Naxalites are better organized and equipped. They also point at deepening linkages between Indian leftwing extremists and Nepalese Maoist insurgents. More such attacks are anticipated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

Change in strategy

A shift in Naxal strategy took place in September 2004 with the merger of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) to form Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Guerrilla army

People's Guerrilla Army (PGA) and People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the guerrilla units of the People's War Group and the MCC respectively, merged under the September agreement. It’s called PLGA.

PWG has 3,500 armed cadres and 3,000 firearms. MCC has 3,000-3,500 cadres and 2,500 firearms. Firearms include AK rifles, light machine guns and .303s.

Class war or caste war?

In Bihar and Jharkhand, Naxalites mainly fight private armies, like Ranvir Sena, of upper caste feudal elements.

In Chattishgarh, CPI(Maoist) cadres have stepped up violence in the entire Bastar region after a private army, Salwa Judum, which is reportedly supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, started six months ago.

In Andhra Pradesh and other states, Naxalites fight mainly the state machinery.

Compact Revolutionary Zone

Larger goal of Naxalites is creation of a red corridor called Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ) extending from Nepal through Bihar to Andhra Pradesh. The CRZ idea crystallised in August 2001 at a meeting of Nepalese Maoists and Indian Naxalites in Siliguri.

Command structure

CPI(Maoist) retains all hierarchies present in former outfits, including central committee, regional bureaus,.and state, zonal, district, division and squad area committees.

Naxals in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

15 CPI(ML) dalams, or groups, are spread over north and south Gadchiroli in Vidharba.

Each dalam has 15-20 armed members. The dalam commander and his deputy are armed with sophisticated weapons ranging from AK-47s to SLRs.

The dalams carry out dry runs before executing any major operations.

Prominent dalams in south Gadchiroli are Sironcha, Aheri, Etapalli, Bhamragarh, Gatta, Chamorshi and Bimalgatta, and in north Gadchiroli are Tipagarh, Khobramedha, Kurkheda and Korchi.

Recent attacks

March 24, 2006: 400 Maoists attack a jail in Ramgiri Udayagiri in Gajapati district of Orissa, free 40 of their comrades

March 13, 2006: Maoists hijack train in Jharkhand with 200 passengers on board; release passengers after two days

February 28, 2006: Maoists trigger landmine in Erraboru village in Chhattisgarh killing 25 people who were going to participate in an anti-Naxalite rally

June 2005: Naxalites kill officer-in-charge of Barikul police station in West Bengal

May 2005: CPI(Maoist) cadres trigger landmine in Deori, Madhya Pradesh, killing seven policemen and a civilian

February 2005: Naxalites trigger landmine in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra, killing seven and injuring 11 policemen of a patrol party

Red trail of terror

DNA
Monday, March 27, 2006 23:50 IST






Friday's Naxal onslaught in the Orissa town of Ramgiri Udayagiri, in which over 400 armed Maoists freed 40 of their comrades and took hostage the jail chief and a sub-inspector, and Saturday's killing of 13 people in a landmine blast in Chattisgarh, have sent shockwaves. The incidents come just four months after Naxalites freed 389 of their comrades from Jehanabad jail in their most daring attack. DNA gives you a lowdown on the challenges posed by the country's fringe Left.

Tactical shift

Ramgiri Udayagiri and Jehanabad mark a significant shift in Naxalite tactics. The scale of the attacks show that Naxalites are better organized and equipped. They also point at deepening linkages between Indian leftwing extremists and Nepalese Maoist insurgents. More such attacks are anticipated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

Change in strategy

A shift in Naxal strategy took place in September 2004 with the merger of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) to form Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Guerrilla army

People's Guerrilla Army (PGA) and People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the guerrilla units of the People's War Group and the MCC respectively, merged under the September agreement. It’s called PLGA.

PWG has 3,500 armed cadres and 3,000 firearms. MCC has 3,000-3,500 cadres and 2,500 firearms. Firearms include AK rifles, light machine guns and .303s.

Class war or caste war?

In Bihar and Jharkhand, Naxalites mainly fight private armies, like Ranvir Sena, of upper caste feudal elements.

In Chattishgarh, CPI(Maoist) cadres have stepped up violence in the entire Bastar region after a private army, Salwa Judum, which is reportedly supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, started six months ago.

In Andhra Pradesh and other states, Naxalites fight mainly the state machinery.

Compact Revolutionary Zone

Larger goal of Naxalites is creation of a red corridor called Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ) extending from Nepal through Bihar to Andhra Pradesh. The CRZ idea crystallised in August 2001 at a meeting of Nepalese Maoists and Indian Naxalites in Siliguri.

Command structure

CPI(Maoist) retains all hierarchies present in former outfits, including central committee, regional bureaus,.and state, zonal, district, division and squad area committees.

Naxals in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

15 CPI(ML) dalams, or groups, are spread over north and south Gadchiroli in Vidharba.

Each dalam has 15-20 armed members. The dalam commander and his deputy are armed with sophisticated weapons ranging from AK-47s to SLRs.

The dalams carry out dry runs before executing any major operations.

Prominent dalams in south Gadchiroli are Sironcha, Aheri, Etapalli, Bhamragarh, Gatta, Chamorshi and Bimalgatta, and in north Gadchiroli are Tipagarh, Khobramedha, Kurkheda and Korchi.

Recent attacks

March 24, 2006: 400 Maoists attack a jail in Ramgiri Udayagiri in Gajapati district of Orissa, free 40 of their comrades

March 13, 2006: Maoists hijack train in Jharkhand with 200 passengers on board; release passengers after two days

February 28, 2006: Maoists trigger landmine in Erraboru village in Chhattisgarh killing 25 people who were going to participate in an anti-Naxalite rally

June 2005: Naxalites kill officer-in-charge of Barikul police station in West Bengal

May 2005: CPI(Maoist) cadres trigger landmine in Deori, Madhya Pradesh, killing seven policemen and a civilian

February 2005: Naxalites trigger landmine in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra, killing seven and injuring 11 policemen of a patrol party

Red trail of terror

DNA
Monday, March 27, 2006 23:50 IST






Friday's Naxal onslaught in the Orissa town of Ramgiri Udayagiri, in which over 400 armed Maoists freed 40 of their comrades and took hostage the jail chief and a sub-inspector, and Saturday's killing of 13 people in a landmine blast in Chattisgarh, have sent shockwaves. The incidents come just four months after Naxalites freed 389 of their comrades from Jehanabad jail in their most daring attack. DNA gives you a lowdown on the challenges posed by the country's fringe Left.

Tactical shift

Ramgiri Udayagiri and Jehanabad mark a significant shift in Naxalite tactics. The scale of the attacks show that Naxalites are better organized and equipped. They also point at deepening linkages between Indian leftwing extremists and Nepalese Maoist insurgents. More such attacks are anticipated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

Change in strategy

A shift in Naxal strategy took place in September 2004 with the merger of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) to form Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Guerrilla army

People's Guerrilla Army (PGA) and People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the guerrilla units of the People's War Group and the MCC respectively, merged under the September agreement. It’s called PLGA.

PWG has 3,500 armed cadres and 3,000 firearms. MCC has 3,000-3,500 cadres and 2,500 firearms. Firearms include AK rifles, light machine guns and .303s.

Class war or caste war?

In Bihar and Jharkhand, Naxalites mainly fight private armies, like Ranvir Sena, of upper caste feudal elements.

In Chattishgarh, CPI(Maoist) cadres have stepped up violence in the entire Bastar region after a private army, Salwa Judum, which is reportedly supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, started six months ago.

In Andhra Pradesh and other states, Naxalites fight mainly the state machinery.

Compact Revolutionary Zone

Larger goal of Naxalites is creation of a red corridor called Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ) extending from Nepal through Bihar to Andhra Pradesh. The CRZ idea crystallised in August 2001 at a meeting of Nepalese Maoists and Indian Naxalites in Siliguri.

Command structure

CPI(Maoist) retains all hierarchies present in former outfits, including central committee, regional bureaus,.and state, zonal, district, division and squad area committees.

Naxals in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

15 CPI(ML) dalams, or groups, are spread over north and south Gadchiroli in Vidharba.

Each dalam has 15-20 armed members. The dalam commander and his deputy are armed with sophisticated weapons ranging from AK-47s to SLRs.

The dalams carry out dry runs before executing any major operations.

Prominent dalams in south Gadchiroli are Sironcha, Aheri, Etapalli, Bhamragarh, Gatta, Chamorshi and Bimalgatta, and in north Gadchiroli are Tipagarh, Khobramedha, Kurkheda and Korchi.

Recent attacks

March 24, 2006: 400 Maoists attack a jail in Ramgiri Udayagiri in Gajapati district of Orissa, free 40 of their comrades

March 13, 2006: Maoists hijack train in Jharkhand with 200 passengers on board; release passengers after two days

February 28, 2006: Maoists trigger landmine in Erraboru village in Chhattisgarh killing 25 people who were going to participate in an anti-Naxalite rally

June 2005: Naxalites kill officer-in-charge of Barikul police station in West Bengal

May 2005: CPI(Maoist) cadres trigger landmine in Deori, Madhya Pradesh, killing seven policemen and a civilian

February 2005: Naxalites trigger landmine in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra, killing seven and injuring 11 policemen of a patrol party

Centre unveils 14-point policy to tackle naxal menace

Vinay Kumar

Stresses upon the States to adopt a collective approach and pursue a coordinated response





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No peace talks with naxal groups unless they agree to give up violence
Parties asked to strengthen base in naxal-affected areas
Land reforms on a priority basis

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NEW DELHI: Even as the naxalite menace continues to remain an area of serious concern, recent attacks by naxalites in Orissa and Chhattisgarh have once again exposed the Government's inability to come up with a concrete and effective counter-strategy to deal with the menace that has spread across a dozen States.

In a status paper on the naxal problem, placed in Parliament by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on March 13, the Government has spelt out a policy to combat the challenge posed by the naxalite menace. The 14-point policy stresses upon the States to adopt a collective approach and pursue a coordinated response to counter it. It emphasises that there will be no peace dialogue by the affected States with the naxal groups unless the latter agree to give up violence and arms. It is at slight variation with the UPA Government's earlier policy of allowing the affected States to enter into peace talks with the naxal groups. The Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh had a ceasefire arrangement with the naxal groups but the peace process proved to be short-lived.

Another component of the policy is that it asks political parties to strengthen their base in naxal-affected areas so that the youth could be weaned away from the path of naxal ideology.

"Efforts will continue to be made to promote local resistance groups against naxalites but in a manner that the villagers are provided adequate security cover and the area is effectively dominated by the security forces," the status paper said. However, it remains silent on the recent Maoists onslaught on Salwa Judum activists in Chhattisgarh.

The States will need to further improve the police response, pursue effective and sustained police action against naxalites and their infrastructure individually and jointly.

Reiterating the Government resolve to deal sternly with the naxalites indulging in violence, it acknowledged that it was not merely a law and order problem. "The policy of the Government is to address this menace simultaneously on political, security, development and public perception management fronts in a holistic manner," it said.

The paper lauded the Andhra Pradesh Government's effective surrender and rehabilitation policy for naxalites, which has produced good results over the years. It asked other States to adopt a similar policy.

Referring to the counter measures, it said that overall counter action by the affected States in terms of naxalites killed, arrested, surrendered and arms recovered from them has shown much better results in 2005. It underlined the need to further improve and strengthen police response, particularly by Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra by improving actionable intelligence collection and sharing mechanisms and strengthening their police forces on the pattern of Greyhounds in Andhra Pradesh.

The counter-strategy also refers to modernisation of the State police, revision of security-related expenditure, supply of mine protected vehicles, long-term deployment of Central Para-Military Forces, deployment of Sashastra Seema Bal along the Indo-Nepal border, revision of guidelines to permit 40 per cent recruitment in Central forces form the border areas and naxal-affected areas.

Dwelling upon the social, developmental and political measures, it said the Centre had provided financial assistance of Rs. 2,475 crores for 55 naxal-affected districts in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI). On tribal and forest related issues, it said the Government had introduced the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005 in Parliament in December last. Further, to facilitate social and physical infrastructure in the forest areas, the Ministry of Environment and Forests approved allowing such infrastructure by utilising one hectare of forestland for non-forest purposes.

While admitting that naxal groups have been raising land and livelihood related issues, the paper stresses upon taking up land reforms on a priority basis. It says that allotment of land to the landless and poor in the naxal-affected areas would go a long way in tackling the developmental aspects.

On the incidents of violence, the paper shows while 515 people died in 2003, the number of deaths went up to 566 in 2004 and 669 in 2005. In the first two months of this year, the number of deaths recorded in naxal-violence stands at 116.

The Union Home Ministry has also scheduled two crucial meetings this week. A meeting with the Railway Board Chairman and top officials of the Central Industrial Security Force and the Railway Protection Force on Wednesday in the wake of hijacking of a passenger train for 12 hours in Jharkhand recently and the Coordination Centre meeting of the naxalite-violence affected States on Friday. Both the meetings will be presided over by Union Home Secretary V.K. Duggal.

Red alert

Red alert

March 27, 2006




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If someone talked about the creation of a ‘Compact Revolutionary Zone’ a decade ago, the general reaction would have been either a suppressed guffaw or a roll of the eyes.

The Naxal menace, we would be patiently told, is a peripheral problem, more an irritant in a thriving democracy than a serious threat to the nation. With a litany of Naxal attacks being conducted across the country, however, the threat has not only become palpable, but is deeply worrying. The figures paint a bleak picture. If terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the Northeast cumulatively affected about 5 per cent of India’s population, Naxal terrorism has come to affect about 35 per cent of our citizens. The belt of violence, too, stretches across many states, being interlinked to each other. So, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) aim of establishing a ‘continuous revolutionary base area’ to advance the ‘people’s war’ in India isn’t a pie in the sky anymore; it seems an ominous possibility.

And yet, governments — both at the Central and affected states— seem to be convinced that Naxal terror will go away when gunshots are fired regularly in the air. The reasons for this dangerous apathy is three-fold. One, despite the rhetoric of prioritising the concerns of rural India, successive governments have paid scant attention to the violence regularly unleashed by the Maoists on our villages and small towns. The media, too, seem to think that rural India is beyond the pale of concern, justice and the law. Two, there is still hesitation about whether to deem Naxals as full-fledged ‘terrorists’ or not. A ‘social justice’ tag is vaguely attached to Maoists, whereby they are perceived by many to be misguided youths frustrated by a non-sympathetic State. That, alas, applies to terrorists of all hues and ideologies and can be trotted out to legitimise all acts of terror. Third, there is the notion that the Naxal menace is not as bad as it seems. Their acts are explained (away) as violence that is expected before elections, or, even worse, as desperate acts conducted by forces literally fighting for survival. Whether it’s the siege of towns like R. Udaygiri in Orissa and Jehanabad in Bihar, or the hijacking of a train in Jharkhand, or the rising death toll across the countryside, Naxal terrorism is gaining ground, not losing steam. The quicker the authorities of the State come around to accept this fact, the better the chances of thousands of Indians escaping violence and death unleashed in the name of class struggle.

ASI, Maoist killed in encounter

[ Tuesday, March 28, 2006 01:56:47 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]



MOTIHARI/BETTIAH: An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and one Maoist insurgent were killed in an encounter near Nanoura village under Ghorasahan police station near the Indo-Nepal border in East Champaran district on Monday.

IG (operations) Krishna Chaudhary told TOI that a police party led by Sikrahana DSP Rajesh Kumar was ambushed by the extremists while they were returning after supervising a case in the area.

"In the exchange of fire, ASI Pramod Kumar Singh sustained fatal gun wounds and died on the spot," the IG said, adding that one Naxalite too fell to the police gunfire."

DM Prem Singh Meena also confirmed the death. The deceased ASI was a native of Barail village in Supaul district. Two companies of CRPF and one company of STF have been rushed to the encounter site, 27 km from the district headquarters Motihari. Two extremists have been arrested.

More than 150 cartridges, red flags, police uniforms and Naxal literature were seized by the police. A combing operation has been launched in and around the area.

According to the East Champaran district administration, there has been a reasonable apprehension that the Maoists could attack the jail and police lines in Motihari to free their associates.

Red alert has been sounded in the entire East Champaran district. Security has been tightened in the jail and at the police lines at Motihari.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Countering the naxalites

THE HINDU

27th March,2006

Countering the naxalites
K. Srinivas Reddy

The Government announced in Parliament that it has a national policy on dealing with naxalites. But what do we make of the continued violence?

THE ATTACKS by naxalites on government institutions in R. Udayagiri town of Orissa and on tribals in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh in the last two days do not point to a corresponding increase in their military capabilities. At best, the violence highlights the total lack of coordination and preparedness on part of governments.
Simultaneous coordinated attacks are the new strategy the Maoists introduced with their strikes in Koraput, Orissa, in February 2004. In addition, they have unleashed a ruthless campaign against those who oppose them and support the state, as evident in the violence against tribals supporting the Salwa Judum (peace initiative) in Chhattisgarh.
There is no apparent counter-strategy. But the United Progressive Alliance Government begs to differ. When there was trenchant criticism on this point in the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil sprang a surprise on March 13 when he tabled a document detailing the Centre's policy on the naxalite problem.
Surprise it was because despite the spatial spread of the naxal movement assuming alarming levels, the Centre had not before this come up with a policy to deal with the problem. In fact, formulating a policy on the naxalite problem was one of the foremost demands of Chief Ministers of the affected different States.
Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, had repeatedly been underlining the need for a national policy so that States did not work at cross-purposes. During the experiment in Andhra Pradesh of holding negotiations with the Maoists and after the failure of the talks, the demand for a national policy reached a crescendo.
"Every now and then this point [of not having a policy] was made. We were told that neither the Government of India nor the State Governments have any policy to deal with the naxalite movement. We were telling them that we do have the policy and we are following the directions given in that policy," Mr. Patil said in Parliament.
How was the policy formulated without involving the affected States? The Centre had been periodically convening meetings of Chief Ministers of affected States, Directors-General of Police, and Chief Secretaries but a national approach had not evolved. The policy, it appears, was confined only to files in the corridors of power. (While replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha on March 1, 2006, Minister of State for Home, Sriprakash Jaiswal, asserted that the Centre had a "well-defined policy to deal with the naxalite problem.") It was the secrecy that surrounded the policy that left the individual States in confusion. Whenever the Maoists succeeded in pulling off a spectacular strike, States took refuge in saying this showed the `desperation' of the Maoists. There was no explanation why the policy was not discussed by the intelligentsia, political parties, security experts, elected representatives, and people in general.
None would disagree that the field tactics in dealing with the naxalites should be kept a secret. But surely a policy should be in the public realm, as should the effort to frame it? For, counter-revolutionary strategies can be successful only when they are backed by a policy. A policy can be evolved when the decision makers thoroughly understand the problem. A thorough understanding would be possible only when an unbiased study is done. In the present case, the discussions and brainstorming seem to have taken place behind closed doors.
The most worrisome aspect is that the Centre has now very categorically announced that it would make efforts to promote local resistance groups against naxalites. Such an effort would be taken up "in a manner that the villagers are provided adequate security cover and the area is effectively dominated by the security forces."
What then of the onslaught of the Maoists on Salwa Judum activists in Chhattisgarh? Though Salwa Judum was launched by Congress legislator Mahendra Karma in Dantewada district, the BJP Government in Chhattisgarh has been extending full support to the movement. Despite this, more than 60 tribals have been killed in the last two months alone by the Maoists in reprisals against Salwa Judum activists. This raises questions about the Centre's idea of promoting local resistance groups.

Andhra Pradesh's successful programme of `peaceful resistance' to Maoists in the forest areas of North Telangana, especially in Adilabad district with the maximum population of tribals, could have been suggested for replication elsewhere. In Andhra Pradesh, the police won the confidence of tribals by a rather unconventional but highly effective strategy. They made a conscious bid to shed their aggressive behaviour and began honouring the tribal traditions like leaving footwear outside while entering a hut or greeting the village elders with folded hands. The campaign was so effective that within a year, tribals in more than 360 villages vowed not to support Maoists, and in 26 villages, people revolted against Maoists.

Before formulating the national policy, such experiments and a draft plan could have been discussed. After all, every section of society should help to tackle one of the most serious problems India is facing.


===========================================================================
Adilabad community Policing experiment by name Police Mekosam mentioned in the article is available on line at www.policemekosam.blogspot.com




"Its not the activity of rascals but the inactivity of good people that destroys our society."
Shiv Khera

Mahesh Bhagwat IPS
Superintendent of Police
Nalgonda District
Andhra Pradesh
India 508001
08682-222304
www.nalgondapoliceinitiative.blogspot.com
www.aasara.blogspot.com
www.policemekosam.blogspot.com

Naxal issue should not be considered as 'insurgency': Gadar

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government and the Centre should not consider the naxal issue as "insurgency" and deploy army to suppress the movement, "revolutionary" singer Gadar has said.

NAXALISM IS TERRORISM , FROM WHERE U R GETTING WEAPONS MORON ! You are blowing up police vehicles with land mines and disrupting peace . You all should be hanged to death !

Referring to the reported statement of Union Home Secretary V K Duggal that the naxalite problem was not just socio-economic but an insurgency too, he told reporters last night that "the term insurgency was being used in the case of struggle in the North East, where it was demand for secession from the country. But the fight in this state by tribals and other downtrodden was just for land and food," he added.

Gadar also criticised the anti-naxal movement launched under 'salwa judum' (peace campaign) in Chhattisgarh, saying it was being spearheaded by "mining mafia." "The mafia was trying to control mines in Khammam and Borde districts in Andhra Pradesh," he said.

On the separate Telangana issue and BJP's support to it, he said "whether a separate state is formed or not it does not make any difference to a poor man. The real need is a democratic Telangana." Gadar also advised the Scheduled Castes not to fight among themselves over categorisation and reservations. Instead they should fight for land unitedly, he said.

Police hit back, kill 8 Maoists

Law Kumar Mishra
[ Sunday, March 26, 2006 11:19:17 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]




RAIPUR: As Naxal violence continued unabated in Chhattisgarh on Sunday, the police said they had killed eight guerrillas and injured many more in an encounter at Telipenta village in Bastar, 40 km from Bijapur police headquarters.

In another incident at Bhanpurapatpur village in Bastar district, a CRPF jawan was killed and another injured when a landmine blew up during a highway clearing operation. The injured jawan has been rushed to Bhilai hospital.

Following news related to killing of a special police officer (SPO) Budhram Telam at Kotru in Bijapur district on Saturday night, on Sunday morning a 58-member team, including SPOs, led by assistant sub-inspector Hira Singh Netam went to the village after crossing the Indrawati river.

The team was attacked by the armed Maoists from Parkeli hills. In the encounter which followed and lasted for an hour, eight Maoists were killed and 12 injured. But the police could recover bodies of only five Maoists

The rest were dragged away by the rebels into the adjoining dense jungles.Rewarding the policemen, Raman Singh government has decided to give out-of-turn promotions to the policemen involved in the encounter. Similar incentive has been recommended for the CRPF men.

Though an alarmed state government has decided to recruit 10,000 (SPOs) to face the Maoist menace in Bastar, it is sending a high-level team of officers, led by the additional chief secretary (home) and director-general of police, to New Delhi on March 31 to press for more forces and Army experts to conduct anti-landmine operations.

Interestingly, around 200 national security guards (NSG) commandos stationed in Bastar for the past two months, are being sent back to New Delhi as they found the terrain difficult to operate.

The government claimed they had participated in three operations, including one in Abuj Mad (the training camp of Maoists) and were able to capture 40 armed Naxalites

Naxal-hit states asked to follow AP's ways

New Delhi, March 27. (PTI): The central security agencies have asked the police in West Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand--the States affected by stepped-up naxal violence to adopt policies similar to those of Andhra Pradesh in tackling the Maoist violence.

During a series of meeting with the police forces of other States, Central Security Agencies gave some specific examples where "bunglings" had allegedly been done by the policemen in not acting on intelligence inputs provided to them well before time, informed sources said.

The West Bengal Police, in these meetings, had been boasting of having curbed naxal violence in 1971, but were left red faced when their attention was drawn to the recent bank robbery, in which the naxalites not only walked away with the money and rifles of security guards but fled the scene on a bicycle.

The West Bengal Police was told that there was a lot of difference between the naxalites of 1971 and 2006 and that they should now get their act together and thwart any attempts by the ultras who wanted to make their presence felt during the Assembly elections in the State.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

UPA fumbles on policy as Maoists run amok



The daring raid on R Udayagiri, a sleepy Orissa town bordering Andhra Pradesh, by hundreds of heavily armed Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadre on Friday, followed by Saturday's bombing by Maoists in Bastar region of Chattisgarh, comes as a fresh reminder that India is sitting on a tinder box.


"The UPA Government, especially the Ministry of Home Affairs, has clearly failed to come up with an appropriate response to the escalating threat to internal security posed by Maoists," says a senior official.


In the absence of a focused approach towards stamping out the red terror, and making full use of the UPA regime's policy of least resistance since mid-2004, the Maoists have stepped up recruitment of cadre.


They have also made full use of their linkages with external agencies and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to build up an impressive stockpile of arms and acquire sophisticated communications equipment that can intercept police chatter which enables them to hit and run without any resistance worth its name.


The upswing in Maoist activities is reflected in last year's statistics that show a remarkable increase in the number of attacks by left extremists as well as in casualties. The casualty of policemen alone has gone up by 53 per cent, while civilian casualty has increased by 11 per cent.


In 2005, there were 1,594 Maoist attacks, in which 516 civilians and 153 policemen were killed. Security forces were able to down 223 Maoists.


The previous year, there were 1,533 Maoist attacks; 466 civilians and 100 policemen were killed. The Maoists suffered a casualty of 87 cadre.


The Union Government now concedes that 76 districts across Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are "badly affected by Maoist violence". That's an euphemism for what's common knowledge: The writ of the Maoists, and not the civil administration, runs in these districts. What has made the problem worse is the confused political response of the UPA regime. While the Ministry of Home Affairs is charged with combating the Communist Party of India (Maoist), other Ministries of the Government are actively engaged in dialogue with the top leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). There is little that distinguishes the Indian and Nepalese Maoist outfits: Both are engaged in armed insurrection and have pledged to overthrow the State in Nepal and India.


While the Government of India officially denies any contact with the Nepal Maoists, there is ample evidence to prove that Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda, chairman of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), and his deputy, Baburam Bhattarai, both of them listed by Iterpol as wanted terrorists, have been regularly visiting Delhi.


In an oblique confirmation of Nepal Maoists visiting India, the Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report for 2005 says, "Available reports indicate continued fraternal and logistics linkage between Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Indian Naxalite groups. Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) cadre are reported to have come to various parts of the country, especially border states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, mainly for medical treatment."


Curiously, while the Ministry of Home Affairs, "keeping in view the recent developments in Nepal and the Maoist violence in that country that may have repercussions on the internal security of our country," has asked "all the State governments bordering Nepal to intensify vigil and patrolling of areas bordering Nepal to prevent the ingress of Maoist elements and check undesirable activities on the Indian side of the border," top officials of the Government are known to have met Baburam Bhattarai and Krishna Bahadur Mohra, another senior leader of CPN(M), in Delhi on the eve of Holi.

Fake naxalites rob petrol bunk

HYDERABAD: Two culprits, whom the police later described as fake naxalites, robbed a petrol filling station of Rs 70,000 on the outskirts of the city in the wee hours of Saturday.

Two persons came walking into the Reliance petrol bunk on the Narsapur crossroads near Balanagar at 5 am and handed over a note to the supervisor Siva Rama Krishna who was sitting inside a room on the premises.

The note was written on the letter head of a naxalite organisation, CPI (ML) Praja Pratighatana (Chandra Pulla Reddy group).

"We are collecting contributions for taking up a people's movement. The money will be used to create awareness among the suppressed people of the state. We also want to build up our guerrilla army with the contributions,"the note stated.

The two were armed with tapanchas which the police suspect to be toy pistols. They were around 25 years and were speaking in Telugu.

The duo asked the supervisor to call the cashiers of the petrol bunk into the room. Five cashiers -- Vijay Kumar, Srinivas, Mohd Irfan, Laxma Reddy and Murali - were called by the supervisor.

After the cashiers entered the room, they took over the amount from the four cash bags, but did not touch the cash bag carried by Murali which had Rs 55,000.

Of the four cash bags, the duo took Rs 70,250 and left another Rs 43,000 untouched, Balanagar police inspector S Damodar said.

The miscreants, however, did not notice another Rs 3.15 lakh kept in the counter of the same room, said the supervisor.

No customer was allowed to enter into the petrol bunk during the half-an-hour operation on the pretext that the fuel stock was over.

After taking the money, the duo walked out of the filling station threatening the employees not to inform the police.

Damodar said the two persons might have come in a vehicle parked outside the filling station. Police suspect the role of employees of the filling station as they were giving contradicting versions over the incident.

Meanwhile, police have also sent special teams to collect details of the accused in previous cases of robberies at petrol filling stations on highways.

Manmohan pushes youth towards Naxalism

By Bharat Jhunjhunwala |

Home Minister Shivraj Patil has called a meeting of Chief Ministers of 13 states affected by Naxalite attacks. This will be preceded by a meeting of the Chief Secretaries and Police Chiefs of the states.

This decision was taken at a meeting attended by the National Security Advisor and Chiefs of Intelligence Bureau and Central Reserve Police Force. It is clear that the government sees the Naxalite problem, not as a social or economic issue but as one of law and order.

This strategy is destined to fail because the basic problem is that economic reforms being implemented by Manmohan Singh are leading to more inequality and fewer jobs. There is deep frustration among educated youth, which attracts them towards Naxalism.

Instead of correcting these economic policies, Singh wants to repress the movement by police force.

The pressure in a kettle on fire cannot be contained by putting more weight on the lid.

Likewise, the Naxalite movement fed by wrong economic policies cannot be contained by the use of more police force.

Naxalite movement had gripped the rural countryside of the country, especially West Bengal, in the seventies. The growth of Naxalite movement follows the course of economy.

According to the Economic Survey published by the Government, the per capita income of the people of Bengal and Bihar grew by 21 and 30 percent respectively in the eighties. Bengal was slipping and was the centre of Naxalite activities.

Read more hard-hitting columns



The situation changed in the nineties. Bengal and Bihar grew at 83 and (-) 10 percent respectively. Bengal progressed and Naxalite activities subsided in that state; while Bihar slipped and has become the centre of the same.

Clearly economic growth at the ground level is necessary to contain Naxalism. Poor youth are attracted towards Naxalism if economic growth is less or concentrated only among the upper classes.

The government had adopted a two-pronged strategy to contain the movement in the seventies. One, land reforms were implemented. About 40 percent of all land distributed under land ceiling laws in the country has been distributed in Bengal.

Educated youth got involved in the cultivation of paan leaves or coconuts and were weaned away from Naxalism. Simultaneously, police action suppressed the Naxalite leadership. The kettle of social unrest was removed from fire and also weight put on the lid. Slowly the pressure inside subsided.

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Cops on high alert

Sunday March 26 2006 10:53 IST

JEYPORE/MALKANGIRI: In the wake of the Naxal mayhem in R.Udaygiri in Gajapati district on Friday, red alert has been sounded in Naxal-infested Rayagada and Koraput districts.

Police sources said, in response to Intelligence tip-off that the ultras involved in the incident could have sneaked into bordering villages in the two districts, armed State police and para-military forces have scaled up their vigil to keep infiltration at bay.

Patrolling parties comprising bomb disposal squads have been put on the job in bordering Mohana, Ravanaguda, Bissamcuttack, Bandhugam and Narayanpatana areas.

Further, suspecting involvement of some Naxal leaders of Koraput and Rayagada regions, police have mounted a combing operation in their village areas. Besides, special check posts have been erected to intercept the ultras, the sources added.

On Saturday, the south-eastern range DIG held a series of discussions with the SPs of Naxal-infested areas in Jeypore.

Apart from the R.Udaygiri incident, the killing of 13 persons in Maoist-sponsored landmine blast in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh early Saturday morning has put Malkangiri police on high alert.

All security measures have been taken to foil the Maoists’ possible attacks on Malkangiri town. Security has been tightened in and around vital installations like sub-jail, treasury, State Bank of India, collectorate, SP office, police stations and armory.

Armed policemen are patrolling the sub-jail round-the-clock apprehending Naxal attack as more than a dozen Maoist top cadres, including their sympathisers, are undergoing terms there

Cop dies while officials fiddle!

Sunday March 26 2006 10:32 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Scale the height of indecisiveness. An injured battling for his life and officials wasting hours planning to save him. Result: He had to pay with his life.

Even as constable Rajesh Ekka was fighting for life in the aftermath of R Udayagiri mayhem, the district administration was at a loss as to how to facilitate landing of a Naval helicopter.

They messed up and as a result Ekka died on ‘road’ to MKCG Medical, Berhampur.

Going by reliable sources, the Eastern Naval Command at Vizag was asked for a chopper to lift the injured to the MKCG Medical and it was waiting for navigation and landing details from the State Police. However, the Gajapati administration was all at sea.

In a state of shock post-attack, it even failed on the plan. In fact, despite hours of brain-racking, Collector B B Mohanty, DIG (Southern Range) Santosh Kumar Upadhyay and Gajapati SP A K Sinha couldn’t finalise it.

The Navy could not be informed of time. With clock ticking away, Ekka was finally sent to Berhampur by road. No wonder, he died on the way. In fact, the Ministry of Home Affairs had, in the recent past, permitted all the Naxal-infested States to make use of air support for emergency rescue and evacuation operation.

Friday’s incident has not only exposed the laxity on the part of government machinery at crisis time, but also exposed chinks in the armour of State Police in identifying lack of basic infrastructure at R Udayagiri.

The OSAP camp at the tribal town was nothing but a small facility having one platoon force. Senior police officials agree that the OSAP personnel put up a brave show. Just 20-odd men fired 1200 rounds and fought against 400 Naxals for two hours and it was no joke, they say.

“But let’s face it. The force had no chance. They were put up at a house, which can be easily breached and provided no cover from attack,” sources said. In fact, the first one to fall was the sentry of the post and then the havildar manning LMG, since the building was weak.

On December 8, 1998, R Udayagiri witnessed a similar attack when tribals, backed by ultras, broke open the sub-jail and killed two inmates before they went on to ransack the police station.

The State Police didn’t seemed to have learnt any lesson let alone doing its homework.

In fact, the OSAP camp at district headquarters town Parlakhemundi runs from a building, which was garage of the erstwhile ORTC. A new building is now being constructed at Betguda on the city outskirts.

Orissa police failed to act

Sunday March 26 2006 10:05 IST

HYDERABAD/BHUBANESWAR: The Gajapati District SP received a fax around 6 p.m. on March 23 followed by a telephone call from his counterpart in Vizianagaram Bhavana Saxena.

Her message: “We have input that the Maoists have procured a mini bus and a few motorcycles from Gajapati district. They are moving with AK-47s. They are up to something major!’’

The same day, the Orissa intelligence wing additional DGP was also alerted by the police officials from Hyderabad about possible Naxal action and advised him to ‘act immediately!’

Contacted, ADG (Intelligence) M.M. Praharaj said the Orissa Police was tipped off by its AP counterpart on ‘possibility of a Naxal action’ but there was no exact information.

“We were told that some Maoist groups were moving in from both AP and border areas of Orissa to Gajapati. Apprehending an attack on the district armoury at Parlakhemundi, security was stepped up in the headquarters town,” he said.

However, the police did not expect the radicals to target R Udayagiri.

Are Maoists better in arms, strategy than police?

Sunday March 26 2006 10:44 IST

R.UDAYGIRI: Are the Maoists better equipped and their strategy, intelligence network and logistics more improved than the State police’s?

The clinical precision and well thought-out planning with, which they carried out the operation on Friday in R.Udaygiri and succeeded in achieving the twin objectives of looting the arms and ammunition of police and freeing their cadres and sympathisers from the sub-jail indicates that their skills are indeed unmatched.

Eyewitnesses said the armed ultras who were more than 300 in number used modern arms and equipment like AK 47, light machine guns, walkie-talkie, grenade petrol bombs, crude bomb, among others.

Besides, the radicals who ransacked different government institutions were perfectly co-ordinating among themselves over walkie-talkies. In contrast, the State police were only 20 in number and were armed with SLR guns, one AK 47 and a light machine gun.

“If we had equipment and weapons similar to the Maoists’, we could have taken control of the situation and the retaliation would have been more effective,” said a police personnel on condition of anonymity.

The R.Udayagiri incident should be an eye-opener for the State Government and it should take steps for upgradation of infrastructure and modernisation of police department on a priority basis in all Naxal-infested districts of the State, opined a high-level district official.

Meanwhile, several reasons have been attributed to Friday’s mayhem. While one source said the newly formed Orissa Special Committee (Guerrilla Army) of, which Sabhya Sachi Panda is the new commander carried out the operation to prove his might, the second held that the ultras wanted to free their cadre and sympathisers from jail and loot arms.

It is also believed that the radicals attacked police to subvert the impact of ‘Jana Sampark Sivir’ being conducted by the police in Naxal-infested areas.

3 Naxals killed in police encounter in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Mar 25: Three naxalites were today killed and about 12 injured in a police encounter in Bijapur district, about 550 kms from here, police said here.

The encounter took place when a group of armed Naxalites confronted a searching party of the jawans of the Nagaland Battalion, who were moving in the Bhairamgarh area, Police told PTI here.

"In a fierce gun battle, three Maoists were killed and about a dozen rebels were injured near Indrawati River in Bhairamgarh area of Naxal-infested Bijapur district," the sources said.

A 12-bore rifle and 18 rounds of ammunitions have also been seized from the

Belgaum police arrest wanted Naxalite

Sunday March 26 2006 10:00 IST

BELGAUM: The Belgaum police have arrested a Naxalite who was wanted by the police of three districts in several cases.

The police team led by Sonia Narang, Assistant SP, Bailhongal raided the house of Ningappa Fakirappa Bannur (39) located at Yargatti in Savadatti taluk. He is said to be a hardcore Naxalite.

Ningappa was also known as Mallikarjun alias Satish. He was an active member of People’s War Group (PWG). Ningappa was recruited to the Naxalite group in 1989 and active till 1998.

He was also said to be involved in a KSRP van blast case, which took place near Pavagad in which several police personnel were killed a few years ago. Ningappa was wanted by Raichur, Bidar and Tumkur police as he was involved in cases, which were reported in these districts.

Two cases have been registered against him in the Raichur police station whereas one each in Bidar and Tumkur police stations. Ningappa had worked as a teacher in Yargatti.

However he came in contact with the Naxalite groups working in the district. Ningappa left the teacher’s job and joined the Naxalite group. He also visited Shahapur and Vadgaon areas of Belgaum.

Ningappa was married twice.

He had married a fellow Naxalite when he was taking part in PWG activities. However he came back to the village two years ago and again married one of his relatives from whom he has a five – month - old daughter.

The villagers said that he had differences of opinion with his current wife who had filed a complaint against him in the Yargatti police station. The police said that they had seized a diary from him, which contained several names and addresses with telephone numbers.

The diary also has several revolutionary writings including poor would be happy only when a separate state becomes a reality. The police said that Ningappa was brainwashing the village youths by conducting regular classes and was preparing them to join Naxal movement.

He was visiting the workshops conducted by Naxalites regularly, the police said.

The sources said a few years ago Ningappa and other PWG activists had raided a zamindar’s house and had burnt the zamindar alive. However, he was shocked when he saw a person burning alive.

The villagers said he lost his mental balance since then and later returned to the village. Ningappa has been sent to the Hindalaga jail